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Free Car Charging

September 27th, 2018 at 08:58 pm

It was crazy stupid how easy the "free car charge" was in the end. But admittedly, MH downloaded the app and set up the account. I told him just to put his login on my phone, since I was just going to be trying it out (later this week). For the long run, I should probably get my own account. Though maybe the one account is fine with the one car. If only one of us will be charging the phone at any given time.

I think the difficult part of it all is finding good information. We thought for some reason there may be 1 or 2 chargers (per the app?), but in the end there were 6 chargers that were compatible with our car. This was in the cheapie garage we just happened to be parking at last night for the film festival we went to. (We'd park there regardless). We saw some other chargers on the way out but not sure what kind they were.

So we were happy to find that there were plenty of chargers.

Literally all I had to do was wave my phone in front of the charger. That's it. Didn't have to log into the app or do anything. I guess my phone had to be "on".

You wave your phone in front of the charger and it unlocks the charger for you:

So we plugged it in and went on our way:

These were the screen shots I took of the app (you can monitor progress from your phone).

Took this screen shot once we got settled in the theater, about 30 minutes later:

Took this screenshot at the end:

I suppose we are still paying (old) summer rates, so we are paying 13 cents per kWh, at home. 14.50 kWh x $0.13 = $1.89. So the free charge saved us $1.89.

Today was the first day I didn't stop anywhere on the way to/from work. (Not entirely true because I felt so terrible this morning, with the late night and maybe feeling a bit under the weather, I stopped for a soda. & I had no idea where to stop, so I may have driven 0.50-1.0 miles out of the way). But other than that, it was a pretty typical commute day for me. I dropped off MM(15) at school at 7am and then drove 22 miles to work. I suppose I can try again next week. I am not sure why it says 49.2 miles driven today. But this was the most true capture I've gotten of my commute, so will go with this for now.

These were the car stats once I returned home:

My drive to work today was totally free! The fuel part of it, anyway. I'd say we also had enough free charge to drive home last night.

It would be more electricity efficient if I drove in more traffic (because the brakes generate more electricity). This is an open freeway drive (all freeway/reverse commute).

I have about 2 gallons of gas in the gas tank. I don't think I have anything planned the next few days and so we probably don't have to rely at all on gas before we get our fast charger (at home). Will cross my fingers. Will probably just stick with the 2 gallons until we plan to drive out of town. We really plan to never really use gas around town once we have the benefit of the fast charger. Will charge about 5 times as fast. So we will have more time to re-fuel the electricity between drives.

It will be interesting to see how October shakes out. We will have fast charger + cheap winter electricity rates ($0.08 per kWh). Not only are the winter rates much cheaper, but we also get a discount on our overnight electricity usage because we notified our utility company that we are charging an electric car.

6 Responses to “Free Car Charging”

  1. AnotherReader Says:

    Yay, SMUD! PG&E rates are up to $0.44 per kWh. House prices aren't the only thing higher in the Bay Area!

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    @AR - I am well aware! I would say that electricity is the only real expense my parents have. But anyway, so hear a lot about it. The overnight electric charging rates are good for Bay Area, that said. Close to what we pay.

  3. LuckyRobin Says:

    Did you ever share how much you paid for the car?

  4. MonkeyMama Says:

    Yes, in my new car post(s). $22k for 2017 model with premium features and low miles.

  5. AnotherReader Says:

    Looks like PG&E has the lowest off-peak rates for the EV plan with a single meter between 11 PM and 7 AM. Winter is $0.131 per kWh and summer is $0.128 per kWh. They get you for the peak hours of usage, though, $0.481 per kWh in the summer and $0.338 per kWh in the winter.

    Solar is looking a LOT more attractive at these prices...

  6. AnotherReader Says:

    Also enrollment in the plan is capped at 60,000. If you are number 60,001 or above, the rates are a lot less favorable.

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